A/N: One of those moments where I have a thought about an object that then spirals into a thought, then a pairing. From there, it becomes a story.
Disclaimer: I do not own.
"A certain little birdie told me it's your birthday." He tosses the small box on the kitchen counter between them before reaching into the fridge for a drink.
She's honestly surprised that Roy is giving her anything. Everyone else, sure, it's completely understandable. Even Green Arrow. She gets that. But Roy? The guy who hates her guts because she replaced him? It's unfathomable.
He leans against the counter opposite to her. Both the island and the gift lie between them. Noticing she hasn't moved towards it, he says, "Last time I checked, I wasn't some diseased beast or a feral dog." He nods to the present and gives her a look. "Open it."
Suspicious for a few moments longer, she waits until he's getting irritated and his arms are folded across his chest before opening it. The girl takes the lid off of the neatly wrapped box and finds a necklace inside.
The pendant is an arrowhead.
For a few seconds, she doesn't understand. It's a real arrowhead, she can tell that much. The ridges are just right and the shape of it is perfect, just like the tip of a real arrow. Even the striations from where it was tied to a spear or arrow were consistent. Dirt still lingered on it, fresh out of the ground. "Wow, Roy..." Artemis is practically speechless. Sure, it isn't anything fancy, but the fact of the matter is that he got her something. Something so unique only stuns her further into her mute state.
He sees her face and knows he hit a bullseye. She's amazed. The goal was to prove how awesome he is. Mission accomplished. He's both intriguing and better than her on every level. "A thank you will suffice."
She looks up at him and feels the leather strap of the necklace between her fingers. "It's really..." The whole thing has her shocked into silence. She can barely manage a few words without wondering why he would do this for her. Artemis's eyes are confused as she watches him sadly. "Why?"
Shifting uncomfortably under her blue-gray gaze, Roy suddenly finds his shoes very interesting. The man gives his faint answer, "I was down visiting my old tribe." It's almost hard to say, especially to her. He doesn't like people getting into his personal life, and letting her in like this is like sacrilege. "I saw it in Brave Bow's stash and…" He really doesn't want to say it, but the words are spilled anyways. "I thought of you."
She knows he's out of his element, this whole emotional side usually irrelevant or unused. Artemis holds the pendant in her palm, feeling the serrated edges poking her curled fingers. She can hardly believe this is real. It's beautiful. And it's from Roy. She never would've thought. Never. "Thank you, Roy," she breathes.
His face feels hot and he doesn't know why.
The blonde picks the leather straps up and begins to fasten it around her neck. She realizes that there is no clasp after a few moments and that the tying portion may be harder than she anticipated. She bites her lower lip, closes her eyes, and hopes for the best because clasps make the world so much easier.
Eyes flying open, she sees him push off the counter and walk around the island to her; his steps are nearly silent on the tiled floor. She doesn't believe it for a few seconds, but she moves away from the counter and turns. Artemis pulls her ponytail off her neck and feels him take hold of the leather.
He's close, but it doesn't bother her. She likes it, really. Artemis can feel his hot breath on the back of her neck, but it isn't threatening. She closes her eyes and feels his deft fingers tying it off and then working through a double knot. It feels like it takes forever in her mind; the proximity is almost suffocating.
Then his hands draw away. "There."
Instinctively, Artemis reaches back to feel the knot and settle it against the back of her neck. And she turns to find him still close, closer than she expected. Within two feet. Close enough to still feel his breath. Now on her face.
She doesn't know what happens, but suddenly he's on her, hand in the small of her back, the other on the back of her neck, the knot nestled between his digits. And his forehead is pressed against hers. His blue eyes are soft like the ocean's water rolling gently with the tide. A gasp can't even escape her before his lips are covering hers.
Lately, he's been thinking about her a lot. More than he should. And he knows how wrong it is, he's painfully aware. She's sixteen, he's eighteen, and it's illegal. But she's beautiful. It all drives him insane: the way her hair falls down her back when she pulls it down, how her eyes darken to charcoal gray when she's mad, every time she really, truly smiles…
He can't stop thinking about her.
The reason he went to see Brave Bow was because he couldn't ask Ollie in all sincerity. Queen would ask questions, start the teasing, tell the other Leaguers. His other father would be softer, more understanding. The Navajo man helped with the problem, assessing it and smiling softly when Roy tried to say that he wasn't in love with her. He got advice and a necklace: it was his ticket in. Her birthday was just the final step.
Now it's coming together. She's in his arms, she isn't fighting back, and she's even got her hands all up in his hair. Not to mention how delicious she tastes. There's coffee on her breath, but her lips taste like raspberries. It's an incredible experience albeit temporary. Some part of Roy fears being seen and having Kid Flash and Robin pick on him for the next few years, but finally being able to touch her, to hold her, to breathe her in…
Artemis can't believe any of it. The necklace, Roy's behavior, now this kiss. Her mind is reeling because it's all just incredible. She's stunned for one. For two, he's a great kisser. He's got her heart pounding in her chest like a drum within seconds. The girl has lost complete control to his lips as he nips at her to gain entrance.
And somewhere nearby, Conner clears his throat.
She's wormed her way out of his arms while he stands sheepishly to one side, hand rubbing the back of his neck. No one was supposed to see that, the archers can agree on that.
"I came for juice." Conner brushes between them and moves towards the fridge, grabbing the juice before retreating the same way he came in, not looking at them a second time. Not like he can judge.
Roy is struck with the sudden shyness of having to actually cope with this now. He just kind of figured it would taper off and they'd leave respectively, say nothing, leave it at a kiss and nothing more. Conner seeing it just made it real, and that scared him. It meant commitment.
Her fingers graze the arrowhead where it rests at the base of her throat before she takes another step back, away from Roy, towards the gym for a quick escape. She doesn't know how to confront this. She's never kissed a guy until now. Hell, she's never had anyone interested in her before. "Um, so I- I guess I'll see you around." She turns to leave, biting her lip and hoping Conner won't say anything to anyone. After all, it was just a kiss…
The blonde looks over her shoulder to see a coy smile upon Roy's lips. Lips that she suddenly wishes she were kissing again.